Archbishop Lori

The Observer

Sept. 25, 2019

Anyone who has worked as a college newspaper editor or reporter understands the tremendous burden of carrying a full academic load while simultaneously attending to what feels like a full-time job. That’s why it was remarkable, in addition to its usual coverage of tri-campus events, that The Observer conducted its own enterprise reporting in writing recently about the library funding controversy in St. Joseph County.

By contrast, The Observer relied exclusively on the Washington Post in rewriting its incomplete and unfair portrait of Archbishop William Lori, a panelist Wednesday at the Notre Dame Forum on the Church sex abuse crisis.

The Observer used others’ accounts to report that Archbishop Lori accepted a donation from Wheeling Bishop Michael Bransfield, later accused of sexual harassment and financial misconduct, and that he delayed in disclosing as much.

Yet Archbishop Lori thoroughly investigated the same bishop, showing him no favoritism, resulting in his permanent ban by Pope Francis from engaging in public ministry in the Catholic Church. Archbishop Lori also authorized the sale of the bishop’s house, with proceeds going to victims.

Archbishop Lori was the architect of the 2002 landmark Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, credited with helping the Church prevent future cases of abuse by mandating zero tolerance and other key provisions throughout the Church in the United States, including mandatory reporting to the police. It also resulted in a steep decline in abuse.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.